The Last Embrace


By Pam Jenoff

cover image of The Last Embrace

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Sixteen-year-old Adelia Monteforte begins the summer of 1941 aboard a crowded ship bound for America and the shelter it promises, utterly alone yet free of Fascist Italy, which is no longer safe for a young Jewish girl. Despite never wanting to venture too near the ocean again, Addie is whisked away to the seaside by her well-meaning aunt and uncle, where slowly she begins to adapt to her new life. That summer, she basks in the noisy affection of the boisterous Irish-Catholic clan next door. Though she adores all the Connally boys—sweet Robbie, moody Liam, studious Jack—it's Charlie she pines for: the eldest, the golden boy. But all hopes for a future together are throttled by the creep of war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home.

Needing to distance herself from grief and the prospect of greater pain, Addie flees—first to Washington and then London, where the bombs still scream by night—and finds a position at a prestigious newspaper. More so, she finds a purpose. A voice. And perhaps even a chance to redeem lost time, lost family—and lost love. But the past, never far behind, nips at her heels, demanding to be reckoned. And in a final, fateful choice, Addie discovers that the way home may be a path she never suspected.

The Last Embrace